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New 44,000 OZ Movie Streaming Service Set To Hurt The Humble DVD

By David Richards | Tuesday | 08/03/2011

The DVD isn't dead yet, but it's heading that way according to Quickflix, who see it ending up in the same resting place as the Laser Disc and VHS tapes. As a result they are set to launch a new 44,000 strong movie streaming service.

In Australia consumers are now moving to new streaming services such as BigPond movies and what is available via T Box and Foxtel. As a result traditional DVD companies are looking to move into the emerging, streaming content market.

Shortly, Australian DVD rental company Quickflix, will launch a streaming service in Australia in an effort to remain a competitive force, while speculation swirls that Netflix the US streaming company that has relationships with most of the major TV manufacturers will offer a service in Australia.

Research shows that sales of DVD's are in decline (volume is down about 40 percent from this time last year for the Top 20 titles according to recent Hollywood reports.

The New York Times said recently that the days of the digital versatile disc may well be coming to an end, at least in its established form as a factory pressed, attractively packaged object of mass consumption.

What is not known is how long Blu-ray discs will last in the market.

Introduced in 2006, Blu ray discs deliver 5 to 10 times as much space for data storage as a standard-definition DVD. They have superior sound and image quality as well as a range of bells and whistles — from social networking interfaces to elaborate games — designed to make the experience of watching a movie more "active" for twitchy 21st-century audiences.

NYTdescribes Blu-ray discs as essentially pumped-up DVDs.

Already Telstra is claiming that they have over 120,000 customers for their T Box service with consumers paying on average $4 a week. Foxtel who is currently trying to buy Austar, has not released their movie rental numbers.

 Stephen Langsford, the executive chairman of online DVD rental company Quickflix is trying to copy the Netflix model in an effort to save his business which has not made a profit in seven years.

Langsford who is set to launch his new streaming service admits that Apple's iTunes and Telstra's T-Box will be serious rivals when Quickflix begins streaming movies and television shows. However he has not said whether he has been able to cut any deals with TV manufacturers to get his service onto IP TV models in the same way that Telstra has done with Samsung and LG.

He claims that the big advantage he has is the 44,000 titles that he can offer Vs the 2,000 that is currently being offered by Telstra.

Langford who is used to failure, once worked for dot come bubble victim Sausage Software in the late 1990s before the dotcom crash.

Quickflix has 80,000 customers who buy a packaged DVD and in an interview with the Australian newspaper he said that the arrival of internet-enabled televisions in Australian stores later this year, coupled with the proliferation of popular devices such as the iPhone and the iPad, mean Quickflix is ideally positioned to lead the streaming revolution.

"This is the next wave -- our vision is one of making Quickflix's streaming service accessible across all popular consumer devices," he says.

He told the Australian: "Video stores are completely flat-footed and constrained by their dysfunctional business model which requires somebody to walk through the front door and get a movie with some popcorn and a Coke at the same time," Langsford says.

"Our job is to help them in their demise."

Langsford claims Quickflix will achieve 100,000 paying subscribers within 12 months.


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